Jonathan Ramos' mother, Maria Carmona, received hugs Thursday night as she learns to cope with the loss of her son.
"He was a very special young man, full of life and had a lot of dreams he wanted to conquer," said Carmona.
Ramos was hiking with his friends in Holyoke on Monday when he slipped and fell into the Connecticut River. Boats were launched to find Ramos, but it was too late.
After an extensive search, his body was pulled from the river.
Julianne Rodriguez was with Ramos when he was swept away by the fast current.
"He wanted to show us a cool spot down by the base from one second to the next you just heard a splash," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said she and her friends tried to save the 18-year-old, but things just happened too fast.
"It was a state of shock that it happened so fast and we couldn't do anything about it," she explained.
Family and friends lit candles and wore purple ribbons Thursday night to remember the vibrant young man who friends called "Wabu."
"There wasn't a day that could go by without having a smile or laugh," said Matt Rodriguez.
"He was just this hyperactive kid who wanted to chill, relax and be with his friends," Travis Wells.
Ramos' mother said although each passing day without Ramos is hard, she appreciates the support from the community.
"I'm thankful for them. I know they love Jonathan because he was a great friend and I hope they can keep his memory for years in their hearts," said Carmona.
Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is collecting donations at his office to help Ramos' family pay for his funeral.
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